DALLAS MAVERICKS vs INDIANA PACERS Recap- March 9
For the second-straight game, the Dallas Mavericks blew a large lead against a quality-playoff contender at home, and again, instead of putting their heads down and tails between their legs, they put their heads down and kept fighting.
After blowing a 30-point lead in their win against the Blazers on Friday, the Mavericks defeated the East-leading Indiana Pacers 105-94 at American Airlines Center on March 9 despite blowing a 17-point second-quarter lead.
Dallas found itself up 35-18 after going on a 15-2 run, but the Pacers closed the half on a 12-2 run to cut the deficit to 48-45 at the break.
The Pacers took their first lead, 51-50 at the 10:22 mark of the third after Monta Ellis was called for a personal and technical foul. Indiana went up as much as five in the third, but Dallas regained the lead for good at 58-57 with 7:11 remaining in the quarter.
Dallas shot just 44.4 percent from the field compared to Indiana’s 47.8, but forced the Pacers to commit 20 turnovers to its 10. The Pacers came into tonight averaging 14.5 a game.
Ellis led the Mavs with 20 points on 6-of-16 shooting while Jose Calderon added 10 points and seven dimes.
Paul George finished with 27 points and 11 rebounds. Lance Stephenson added 21 points, but just three in the second half. George had scored 15 points in his previous two (13 and 2).
Indiana has now lost a season-worst four games straight, its longest losing streak since losing four straight from March 5-11 during the 2011-12 season.
Where Was Dirk: Dirk Nowitzki struggled all night long, shooting just 3-of-14 from the field and 1-of-4 from behind the arc, for 14 points. At times, Nowitzki missed wide-open shots, and even passed up on some. He was very hesitate during the second half, and just couldn’t find a rhythm. Despite all that, the fact the Mavs beat up on a team like the Pacers, just shows how dangerous Dallas can be moving forward.
Milestone Watch: With the 14 points, Nowitzki now sits just 13 points away from passing the legendary Boston Celtic John Havlicek for 12th in all-time scoring. He’ll have a chance to do so against the Golden State Warriors on March 11. Check that, HE WILL DO SO…
The Closer: Player of the game goes down to Ellis or Devin Harris, who both scored 20 points, but my pick goes to Harris. He added five dimes and four steals, and the output was a season-high. Harris had an array of clutch 3-point shots in the second half, and closed out the game in favor of Calderon. He scored 15 in the second half (7 in the 3rd, 8 in the 4th) including an amazing and-1 shot to make it 92-87, and the dagger three-shot with 33 seconds left. Harris has played exceptionally well in his last three games. He scored 12 points in 24 minutes against the Blazers and had 11 assists in 18 minutes against Denver on March 5.
Rebounding Is Key: Dallas, the 27th-ranked rebounding team in the league, has had its way on the glass with the 5th-ranked Pacers. In their previous meeting on Feb. 12, the Mavs went head-to-toe with Indy, each grabbing 47 boards. This time around, the Mavs held the advantage 42-41, outrebounding the Pacers 15-10 on the offensive side. Dallas held 7-foot-2 Roy Hibbert to just five rebounds in 37 minutes. Stephenson, who came in averaging 7.3 a game, finished with five as well. Nowitzki, Samuel Dalembert and Ellis all finished with eight a piece while Vince Carter added seven.
Balanced Offense: Even though the Mavs struggled after the first quarter (shot 59 percent after one), six players scored in double figures. Ellis and Harris finished with 20 a piece, Dirk had 14, Shawn Marion scored 12, and Carter and Calderon each had 10. Eight of the 10 players for Dallas scored five points or more. The Pacers had three with at least 20, but also had four players, with significant minutes, that contributed two points or less.
Our Bench Is Better Than Your Bench: The Mavericks bench, one of the best in the NBA, outscored Indy’s bench 41…to…4. Enough said.
West Update: The Phoenix Suns and Warriors faced off in Oak City in what was one of the biggest games of the day. Phoenix led for most of three quarters before the Warriors went on a third-quarter run and outscored the Suns 38-17 and hung on for the victory. The other big game of the night came in Houston as the Rockets defeated the Blazers 118-113 in overtime. The Memphis Grizzlies won against Charlotte on March 8. Here’s a look at the updated west standings…
1 San Antonio Spurs: 46-16 (.742) –
2 Oklahoma City Thunder: 46-17 (.730) — 0.5
3 Houston Rockets: 44-19 (.698) — 2.5
4 Los Angeles Clippers: 44-20 (.688) — 3
5 Portland Trail Blazers: 42-21 (.667) — 4.5
6 Golden State Warriors: 40-24 (.625) — 7
7 Dallas Mavericks: 38-26 (.594) — 9
8 Memphis Grizzlies: 36-26 (.581) — 10
9 Phoenix Suns: 36-26 (.581) — 10